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to peak. tonight, 47 states are swamped by the virus, only three states have escaped the worst of the outbreak. california, mississippi and hawaii. but there are some new clues to show you tonight, stirring hope, and abc's chief medical editor dr. richard besser is here to show you. >> tonight, i'm cautiously optimistic, finally a sign in southern states hit earliest, and hardest, that the peak of the flu epidemic has passed. tonight, amid all of the sneezing and coughing, a glimmer of hope. we talked to hospitals and health departments across the south and many are seeing it. from knoxville, tennessee, "we're seeing that downturn." to north carolina, "looks like we peaked early." but it's not universal. even in the same states, some hospitals are still getting slammed. "our numbers don't yet reflect a downturn," a doctor from duke university hospital, also in north carolina, tells us. this year's flu season hit
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early, november 25th, a month earlier than a typical one. we're now six weeks into it, and if this year is like years past, we are likely to have six or more weeks to go. it's not too late to get some protection and today, the cdc provided first indication as to how well the vaccine is working. turns out it's 62% effective, meaning, if you got the vaccine you're 62% less likely to have to visit your doctor for the flu. but the cdc acknowledges there have been shortages of the vaccine, so our team fanned out across the country to see what they could find. in chicago. >> i'm going to log on to to find the closest place to get a flu shot. >> reporter: at the pharmacy, success. >> do you have flu vaccine left? >> we certainly do. >> reporter: in new york city, another success. >> so right now you're administering ten vaccines an hour? >> reporter: but in gulfport, mississippi, our first call came up empty. >> we don't have any. >> you don't have any left? >> reporter: tonight, the cdc
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says if at first you don't succeed keep calling around. >> with these weeks left, rich, can you get the flu twice? >> unfortunately, you can. there is at least three strains of flu that are out there, so if in october, november, you got one strain, you are still susceptible to the other ones. it's not too late to get protected. >> the flu shot still matters, you can get it again any time. what about the three states that appeared to have fared the worst, any reason why? >> it's the way flu works, starts in one part of the country and they'll see a big wave and come down and then it moves around and they are not going to be spared in the end, it's going to get there. it happens every time. california, for some reason, is often late. they'll see the flu. >> all right. a bold prediction there. thank you so much. as we make our way through these weeks of the flu, nearly 40% of us are using so-called complementary treatments, herbs and remedies in the drugstore and kitchen cabinets. so we asked our senior medical
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contributor dr. jennifer ashton to reveal which ones really help. >> reporter: if you're home sick with the flu, boosting traditional treatments with natural ingredients you can find in your local vitamin store may bring you some real relief. elderberry, particularly the sambucol type, is what you are looking for. there are studies that show that elderberry pills or extract shorten the duration of flu symptoms in adults. it can also help ease swollen sinuses. just don't eat the wild berries. they can be toxic. look what you can find in the supermarket. in the spice aisle you might want to reach for a jar of turmeric. the popular indian spice contains curcumin, believed to help prevent the spread of viruses in your body. what about the old favorite? chicken soup. your mom might have been behind something and there is science behind hit. studies have shown that homemade
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remedy can help clear congestion. and chicken soup affects your body's white blood cells, holding them back from creating congestion, meaning less coughing and less sneezing. and it's not something seen with any other soup. now, more research needs to be done on these and other treatments and it's important to remember that complementary medicine should not be a substitute for traditional medicine. >> but they intrigue you? >> they do intrigue me. >> with the possibility they do help. thank you, jen ashton. and earlier today, i asked everyone to tweet me pictures of our shared misery together with the flu. and here are some we saw. a child, home from school, a furry nurse on the bed, and earlier someone tweeted the survival kit, in america tonight. get well soon. and we turn next to the white house and something new in america's almost 12-year war coming to a close.
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tonight, 66,000 americans still fighting in afghanistan and the president indicated today they could be coming home even sooner than we thought. he said it with the leader of afghanistan standing there with him. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: president obama today declared america's longest war will soon be over. >> afghans are stepping up and taking responsibility for their own security. as they do, our troops will come home. and next year this long war will come to a responsible end. >> reporter: but that end will depend in large part on the man at the president's side, afghanistan's president karzai, a man who survived at least five assassination attempts but also accused of corruption and incompetence. today they were cordial but not exactly warm, and no wonder, it's a tense relationship. karzai recently accused the u.s. of causing instability in his country. he has said if pakistan and the u.s. went to war he would side
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with pakistan, and once threatened to join the taliban. another complicating factor, the increasing rogue attacks of afghan soldiers on u.s. and nato troops, some 45 attacks last year, killing 35 americans. but president obama said today that by this spring, u.s. forces will no longer be taking the lead in 90% of afghanistan. a quicker transition than had been planned. that will be the beginning of the end to a war that has cost more than 2,000 american lives. the white house says one reason to push for a quicker drawdown in afghanistan is cost. even now we are spending $5 billion a month, that is $167 million every day in afghanistan. today, the president said the war he once called a necessity has been worth it. >> at the end of this conflict, we are going to be able to say that the sacrifices that were made by those men and women in uniform has brought about the goal that we sought.
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>> reporter: by the end of next year the white house hopes to go from those 66,000 troops now in afghanistan to fewer than 10,000. and diane, they are even considering a so-called zero option which would be taking all u.s. troops out of afghanistan by the end of next year just as they did in iraq. >> all right. jonathan karl reporting from the white house. thank you. as you know, george stephanopoulos will be discussing the war and other national security issues on sunday on "this week." and by the way, president obama had another announcement today. he is going to give the medal of honor to a father of three, staff sergeant clinton romesha. in 2009, he was battling 300 enemy fighters in afghanistan when a grenade exploded, wounding him, but still he rushed through a street that left him exposed, taking out more of the taliban to provide cover for his fellow soldiers, and then pushing forward the length of a football field under
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fire to recover the bodies of his friends who had fallen. it is only the fourth time the honor has been given to a living member of the military. and also, in washington today, the people who oversee air safety said they are going to investigate the boeing dreamliner, the plane expected to be the future of air travel. the dreamliner had some troubles this week, including a fire on one plane, no passengers on board. regulators say the plane is safe to fly but they will review its design and assembly process anyway. no planes will be grounded during the review. and now, we move next to snow in southern california. part of a big storm marching across the country, freezing highways, and abc's meteorologist ginger zee tells us what to expect. >> reporter: this is not what southern california generally looks like. a major highway shut down thanks to blankets of blowing snow. >> it's a bad situation for people who doesn't have chains
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or for a lot of people in southern california, they're not used to these kind of conditions. >> reporter: thousands of cars and semis immobilized for hours, stuck on a snowbound section of i-5 just outside los angeles overnight. >> we've got to be patient. there's nothing you can do. >> reporter: many had to be rescued later by the highway patrol. with that wicked wind and snow comes killer cold. farmers in california scrambled to protect precious crops as temperatures plunged toward record lows in the 30s. the roads weren't a whole lot better in salt lake city as plows struggled to keep them clear. >> trying to come home was a disaster, there's actually two lanes but everybody made three. it's really bad. >> reporter: high winds and blowing dust closed this colorado interstate but it wasn't all bad. the fresh powder attracted skiers and snowboarders in california. and so much snow fell, one utah family managed to build a monster 30-foot snowman. his name? harvey. there will be more harveys to come and more messes on the
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roadways, especially in parts of colorado, wyoming, where places are seeing not only blizzard conditions but also big dust storms, because, with all of this snow and you're seeing three to six additional inches in the pink area, six to ten where you see the deep magenta, you have that blowing and ice, that is where the roads really start to sock in. there is some good news out on the east coast, at least for a time, look at the temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees above average. new york city, by this sunday, will be close to 60 degrees. washington, d.c., close to 70. raleigh in the 70s, let's see what happens in chicago, they go from 50 to 28, cold front swings through. >> whiplash in all directions. thank you, ginger zee. with the warming temperatures, it makes us think of the people playing out on the ice which can become thin ice, as we know. it can give way in a second and tonight, we are going to jump into the freezing water to show you how to get out with the ice cracking around you.
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go down in the icy water. tonight, abc's bob woodruff tells us that if you know what to do, you can escape. >> reporter: it is a familiar winter picture. dozens of youtube videos show kids and young daredevils having fun venturing out on the ice. but here's what can happen in an instant -- just in the past few weeks, two teens trapped four hours, clinging to a tree. it's even dangerous territory for those coming to the rescue on such fragile ice, often falling in themselves. falling into frozen waters sends your body into cold shock. researcher dr. gordon glesbrecht, also known as dr. popsicle -- >> you first start gasping and hyperventilating and breathing way more than you need to. >> reporter: so he says, get your breathing under control -- fast.
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it's a race against hypothermia. under that freezing water you are losing body heat 25 times faster than if you were above water. your blood pressure and heart rate is increasing fast, your core temperature dropping. if you're able to tread water you have as little as 15 minutes before losing consciousness. so frigid, rescuers don full body thermal suits like one i wore in norway -- a precaution. but here's what you can do. don't flail your arms like this, always keep them above the water -- so they don't freeze, your arms are key. and don't remove your clothing, including your boots, it actually will help you to stay afloat. swim in the direction you came from, and hang on, since it's likely the strongest ice. and how to get out? chris edwards from abc in detroit, wxyz, took the plunge. first, try to hoist yourself up by kicking hard. and always, when on ice, carry simple ice picks like these to help you claw out.
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out on thin ice, your every move can make the difference between life and death. bob woodruff, abc news, new york. and coming up next, we're going to introduce you to an unlikely superstar. the basketball shot that makes a kid on the church team an internet sensation. ♪ aww man. [ male announcer ] returns are easy with free pickup from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪ thank you. we asked total strangers to watch it for us.
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our "instant index." a big event this morning, unveiling of the royal portrait but what did you think? does this look like kate middleton, the duchess? will and kate said to be very pleased but all day long we've been following the art critics who say the painting makes her look older, one even said frumpy. it's tough out there. and our video, right out of the beginning of life on earth. it's the biggest giant squid ever captured on tape. you are looking at it there, from thousands of feet below the ocean. the creature more than ten feet long, can weigh up to a ton. its eyes are the size of dinner plates. and on those tentacles are suction pods and in them, razor-sharp barbs. filmed for a discovery channel show airing january 27. on this friday, why not cheer on a kid who never expected to be a superstar? check out the video everybody
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was watching today. a church basketball game. eighth grader matt demember heaves the ball overhead kind of hopelessly as the buzzer sounds. the ball goes in the hoop. even he can't believe it. let's watch it one more time. it was not enough to put his team over the top but it is the shot everyone will remember for years to come. if you see something you love out there for our "instant index," be sure to tweet it to me @dianesawyer. still ahead here, the brave beauty queen going for the miss america crown, not letting anything, even autism, stop her. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪
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she was a child born with autism. but tomorrow night on a runway, she could become miss america. david muir takes us to meet her, miss montana. >> i'm so happy. >> reporter: backstage in las vegas, alexis wineman, miss montana, beaming like the others as they compete for the crown. but hers is a journey unlike any other. the little girl with the big smile but hiding underneath it, a giant hurdle. >> we knew for a long time there was something wrong, we just didn't know what it was. >> reporter: the little girl unable to relate to other children at school. the unexplained tantrums. the hours spent alone. she had autism but her parents and teachers didn't know it. one teacher saying, i don't get paid enough to handle this. no one talked about it in her small montana town. she wasn't diagnosed until she was 11 and no one thought she would ever make it here. at 18, alexis defied the odds. the first contestant with autism to compete in miss america. so you've had a little practice? >> oh, yes. >> reporter: and for the talent portion she plans a stand-up act. this is where you have to be funny up there.
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>> yes. i'm always funny up there. >> reporter: the same little girl who will tell you she never got the jokes. how did you know you were funny? >> i use it to deal with situations where i don't understand. >> reporter: and now you're going on stage to perform comedy? >> yes. it's a pretty ironic twist, isn't it? >> reporter: the diagnosis came when you were 11 years old. you said it was 11 years too late. because you had wondered all those years why you were different? >> first impressions were already made. >> reporter: but alexis redefined them. running cross country with her brother. she was captain of the cheerleading team. once so alone and silent she would finish nine years of speech therapy. she was on the high-functioning end of the awe tim sptive spect. and when she first began competing in pageants, a borrowed swimsuit from here sister. and old prom dress on the hanger. but this weekend on that las vegas stage no more hand-me-downs. no more hands held. >> it's all me. i'm really excited about that. >> reporter: this is you now. >> yes.
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>> reporter: we couldn't help but notice she wasn't the only one up on stage. you're supposed to be rehearsing right now? >> that's right, i can blame you. >> reporter: and her secret to not colliding with the others? >> elbows out. >> reporter: quietly in the back of the theater, her mom, who says alexis has won by just getting here. >> she won. she's here. sorry. >> reporter: you never thought this would even be possible? >> absolutely not. this is beyond anything -- >> reporter: what do you tell your little girl when she gets on that stages? >> be your best. and leave with no regrets. >> reporter: and the children of special needs loongt way who will be watching. >> i hope they'll be watching. >> reporter: do you feel you are a wayner? >> do i. i'm on top of the world. i hopefully have touched the lives of people at home. >> reporter: you have. >> thank you. >> reporter: and so we choose alexis wineman.
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we'll be watching tomorrow night on abc. we want you know about a big day monday, our robin roberts has special news she's going to bring us on "good morning america," be sure to watch, we can't wait. "nightline" tonight at its new time, 12:35 a.m. eastern and david muir will be right here in this chair for you all weekend long. hope you have a great weekend and a good night. tonight, troubled 787 dream liner comes to the bay area, one airport is counting on to it become part of a success story. >> i'm sandhya patel. temperatures falling below freezing again tonight. i'll show you warnings coming up. >> a man accused of his own mother's murder. our reporter is there as he
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blurts out a confession. >> a warning to women, you can be the next target of a violent smart phone robbery becoming more violent and common. only on abc 7 news. >> there is a live picture aconsiders the bay. it's going to be another clear but cold night. >> dangerous cold for homeless and dangerous for crops. good evening, everyone. >> let's turn to sandhya patel. with a look. >> this is what has just developed. you look here there is not a lot other than clouds, but look at this moisture just to the north of the bay area, isolated showers coming down
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there is a possibility of showers coming up. so if we do get anything it would be brief. just wanted to show you that quickly this, morning cold and 26 degrees in fairfield. 31 sonoma county airport. 29 degrees in livermore. but, temperatures held up around san rafael and half moon bay. oakland by wind around, tonight we're going to lose the breeze but gain clouds. mid-20s to low 30s, freeze damage is fobl. bay shore line, light purple is under a frost advisery. i'll let you know how long the cold snap will last next week. >> thank you. >> later tonight our wayne freedman talks to people who consider the weather down right balmy that. is coming up later on. >> cold temperatures

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC January 11, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2013) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Afghanistan 9, Allstate 4, California 4, Alexis 3, Dennis 3, Southern California 3, Colorado 2, Obama 2, Jonathan Karl 2, Miralax 2, Alexis Wineman 2, Coricidin Hbp 2, Taliban 2, Sandhya Patel 2, Prego 2, Mississippi 2, North Carolina 2, Pakistan 2, New York City 2, Chicago 2
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